Motorists in the UK are paying over the odds for car servicing compared with our European neighbours. A recent report by the Trading Standards Agency (TSA) has revealed the striking difference between what garages charge in different EU countries and also the low standards of work done here.
In addition, it seems not only are we paying more than our overseas associates but that work done in UK garages is often substandard. The report showed that UK motorists were frequently charged for parts that were not fitted, work done that was unnecessary and replacement parts that were not needed.
The list does not stop there it seems some of the dodgiest of UK garages stooped even lower with such practices as charging for expensive oil but using the cheapest in the vehicle. Also siphoning out old oil instead of draining the oil sump and thus adding new oil to a dirty engine was found to have happened.
Some parts suppliers are now telling their customers to carry out work themselves and are offering online advice about simple procedures.
"Our customers often order products from us and take them to a friend or garage to fit," said an industry spokesperson.
"However, servicing an engine can be simple, our customers can save a small fortune and do a better job with the help of our 'Ask the Expert' service. An engine service on most cars will take about an hour. It's rarely difficult. We even have the books to show how."